Bank Holiday in Rutland

Didn’t want to waste the Bank Holiday Weekend, so have been to Deene Park’s Antiques Fair today and had a lovely time. Didn’t really want to spend any money: as usual with such projects, the cottage renovation is well over budget.. but I would always rather source unique items – not necessarily priceless antiques – than buy new.

I couldn’t agree more with Kirsty Allsop: buying junk/vintage/second hand/antiques is true recycling, so good for the environment, and the way to give your home a really individual look.

Deene Park’s fair, with ‘posh’ things inside the main marquee, and a host of outdoor stalls, is perfect for today’s home-makers and bargain hunters. I came away with a beautiful, hand woven wool rug from somewhere out east, allegedly Afghanistan, for £80. It’s not an antique, but it’s beautifully made by a real craftsman, goes perfectly with my rust-coloured sofa and was a third of the price from a specialist rug shop.

Other purchases were a small wooden folding stool, a perfect height foot-rest for my basket chair in the kitchen corner, a vintage oblong enamel roasting pan which will become a kitchen tidy on the windowsill, an oval mirror for the spare bedroom, with pretty inlay and bevelled glass, and a heavy cast-iron dish molded as an acanthus leaf, which makes a lovely bird bath. None of these was more than a tenner. Bargain!

Deene Park’s antiques fair is on all day Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday. Follow the signs from the A43. £4 per person entry. And yes, I know that Deene Park is actually in Northamptonshire, but only just and that’s the thing about Rutland: it’s so tiny that we cross the borders all the time and annexe the best bits of Lincolnshire, Northants and Leicestershire when it suits us!

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